POEMS BY ALEKSANDR BLOK (1880-1921)

Translated by Gary Kern

 

From sunset she appeared,
Her cloak pierced by a bloom
Of unfamiliar climes.

She summoned me somewhere
Into the northern gloom
And aimless winter ice.
A fire flared up that night,
And with its tongues the blaze
Did lick the very skies.
Her eyes flashed fiery light,
And falling as black snakes
Her tresses were released.
And then the snakes enclosed
My mind and high-flown thought
Lay spread upon the cross.
And in the snowdust's swirl
To black eyes I am true,
To beauty of the coils.
8 November 1907
*****
'Twas there a man burned out.
Afanasy Fet
How burdensome to walk among the people
And to pretend you have not died,
And of the play, so tragical, of passions
To tell to those not yet alive.
And, peering deep into your private nightmare,
To find a shape in feeling's shapeless swirl,
So that from livid afterglows of art
They will perceive a passing lifetime's flare!
10 May 1910
*****
I pass away this life of mine,
This life so mad, so dark and dull;
Today I soberly exult,
Tomorrow I will sing and whine.
But if perdition does impend?
But if right there behind my back
That one - whose hand, immense and black
Has veiled the mirror - does attend?
The mirror's light sparks in the eyes,
And horrified, my lids drawn tight,
I step back to that realm of night
From which no path of exit lies...
27 September 1910

 

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